My name is Ben Elsner and I’m looking forward to teaching this course Causal Inference and Policy Evaluation at UCD. I’m originally from Germany, where I grew up in the beautiful city of Regensburg. I have been living in Ireland on and off since 2008. I got a PhD in economics from Trinity College Dublin in 2012 and afterwards worked as a researcher and policy adviser at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) in Bonn/Germany. In 2018, I returned to Ireland and “changed sides” by joining UCD. I’m an applied microeconomist an my research mainly deals with the impact of migration on sending and receiving countries. I have also recently taken a great interest in the impact of pollution on human capital formation and decision-making and am currently working on some projects in this field. You can learn more about my work on my website www.benjaminelsner.com.

I am passionate about teaching econometrics and data analytics because it equips students with a highly useful toolbox that allows them to go out into the world and do their own research. I am particularly excited about this new course Causal Inference and Policy Evaluation (launched in spring 2024) because it is truly interdisciplinary: its material appeals to scholars in a large number of disciplines such as economics, political science, sociology, health policy, social work, education and everything in between.

When I don’t do research or teach, I enjoy cooking (especially bbq), reading, and playing piano.


I share my teaching worldwide through my YouTube channel, where I have over 70 videos on causal inference and public economics. I have recently started a new playlist called Metrics Nuts and Bolts, where I explain some of the maths behind undergraduate econometrics that lots of students struggle with. I also work on a project called Intuitive MetriX, a platform with econometrics materials for visual learners.

Together with colleagues from the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics, we recently created the M.Sc Economics and Data Analytics and we are very excited about this new venture. The programme combines economic theory, econometrics and data analytics and equips graduates with a highly marketable skill set.


Email: benjamin.elsner@ucd.ie

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